Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

Diabetes and Google

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I’m a diabetic (Type 1), which means that I’m insulin dependent. I didn’t find this out until I was 24 (three weeks after my wedding day), and in these last 8 years I’ve learned how to manage diabetes in a way that keeps me healthy. Knowing how much insulin my body needs is based on the amount of glucose in my blood stream. Therefore, having a top notch glucose monitor is a key part of my life, and of any diabetic. Today I learned that Google has developed a new contact lens that has an embedded glucose sensor, a wireless transmitter, and a tiny antenna, all tucked high enough on the lens to not interfere with the wearer’s vision.

Lens

Whenever I hear about new technology for diabetics, I perk up, although with a fair amount of skepticism (and, regrettably, cynicism—after all, these products are made and distributed by big pharmaceutical companies). I think my skepticism about this technology is justified. Google has already too much access to user information, and has been known to aggregate tons of personal data from their users for marketing purposes.

Although I appreciate Google’s creative initiative, given the fact that 1 in 19 on the planet are diabetics (nearly 400 million with Type 2 diabetes alone), perhaps a better approach would be a cost-effective product that allows diabetics to quickly monitor their blood glucose levels and store the data in an organized and helpful way. Contact lenses with computer chips is just an expensive luxury, something James Bond would have in his eyes, not John Doe.

This leads a big issue in our day that Google illustrates so well: Google thinks of people not as people but avatars. People are not humans for Google, but cyborgs who only operate in the space of internet data and who need their products in order to survive. When Google asks, “What is one of the world’s great health needs, and what can we do to solve it?”, their answers lies in a new elegant technological fix, like a contact lens that stores data. The same problem is reflected in Google Glasses, too, which essentially removes all social interaction of normal human beings in favor of digital interactions: people becoming machines. “Wearable tech,” they say. Cyberdyne, I say.

Here’s a short video explanation: http://www.youtube.com/embed/z7QzaV6zraI

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Written by Josh Philpot

January 18, 2014 at 3:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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